Series Preview: Hickory Crawdads at Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws
Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (70-68 in 2018) at Lakewood BlueClaws (Philadelphia Phillies) (87-51 in 2018)
The Hickory Crawdads open the 2019 at First Energy Park for a four-game series.
GAME TIMES: Thursday 6:35 p.m., Friday 7:05 p.m., Saturday 4:05 p.m., Sunday 1:05 p.m.
BROADCASTS: Games are streamed live at milb.tv and on the Lakewood BlueClaws website
PROBABLES (Hickory/ Lakewood)
Thursday: RHP Hans Crouse vs. RHP Colton Eastman
Friday: LHP Jake Latz vs. RHP Jack Perkins
Saturday: RHP Jean Casanova vs. LHP Jhordany Mezquita
Sunday: LHP John King vs. RHP Victor Santos
Recent Series History:
Lakewood won 7 of 10 from the Crawdads in 2018 with a 4-2 mark at First Energy Field. The South Atlantic League schedule tends to send Hickory to Lakewood rather than the reverse. Hickory will play 7 of 11 in New Jersey this season.
Since 2009, the teams have played 97 games. Sixty-eight of those have been played in Lakewood, where the BlueClaws are 37-31 against the Crawdads. Overall, the BlueClaws are 54-47 against Hickory since 2009, the start of the Rangers-Crawdads affiliation.
Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):
RHP Hans Crouse No.1
OF JP Martinez No. 2
SS Chris Seise No. 12
IF Jonathan Ornelas No. 18
C Sam Huff No. 21
3B Sherten Apostel No. 22
Prospects to watch-Lakewood (rankings by MLB.com):
3B Alex Bohn No. 1
SS Luis Garcia No. 4
RHP Francisco Morales No. 8
C Rafael Marchan No. 14
RHP Dominic Pipkin No. 23
RHP Kevin Gowdy No. 24
LHP Jhordany Mezquita No. 26
NOTES; Hickory opens on the road for the fourth straight season. The last home opener was in 2015, a 5-2 win over Hagerstown (Md.) … The Crawdads opened the previous two seasons at Greensboro, losing 6-1 in 2018 and 14-4 in 2017. The Crawdads last opening day win was in 2016 when they beat Kannapolis 5-1… This is the first time since 2010 Hickory opened a season outside of the state of North Carolina. The Crawdads opened that year at Hagerstown and lost a 1-0 game to the Suns.